Nobody in the 21st century can argue about the need for a well thought out and specifically designed training plan for top performance, specifically for athletes participating in any sport. Merely all coaching experts in the world would agree that failure to plan is ultimately a sure plan to fail. Well, having said that, it is amazing how many recreational athletes and many coaches (not all) training professional athletes get the very next step of designing a sound training plan wrong- “Setting up clear objectives”! Studies clearly show that the biggest factor determining success in any aspect of life (sport, wealth & business, health, relationship, etc.) is the ability to set a clear objective in order to achieve the desired goals. Without clear objectives it is very easy to deviate from the athlete’s end goal, limiting their potential and performance.
Sport performance would drastically increase if all recreational and professional athletes came to the following realisation – to achieve top performance there are 4 key objectives that all athletes should be focusing on:
Training the Specific Strength Qualities
Strength can be classified into many different types, each defined by differing capabilities of the neuromuscular system and different time frames of strength expression. Here is an example of some- Maximal strength, Relative strength, Strength Endurance, Starting strength, Explosive Strength, Reactive Strength, Absolute Strength, etc. Different sports will require different strength qualities. Depending on the sport, an athlete will need to work on one or a combination of two or more strength qualities. It is imperative that the coach or the athlete really spends time analysing precisely what strength quality is needed for the athlete to achieve top performance.
Developing either Specific Endurance or Conditioning
Many recreational and professional athletes confuse the terms Endurance and Specific Conditioning.
Endurance – The athlete’s tolerance level to fatigue in strength performances of a longer duration. The capacity of muscles to resist fatigue while generating a force of over 30 percent of maximal strength, for a given repeated contractions over a long period of time. Most long-distance events will require a high level of endurance for an athlete to achieve top performance.
Conditioning – In his book, Tudor Bompa gave the most accurate definition of sport conditioning- the ability of a muscle group or combination of muscle groups to create a specific rate of VERY high force development. This is very different from endurance. Some sports will require a very high rate of high force development whilst others will need a lower rate of high force development. For example, a sprinter will need to develop a high force for a heat and then run again for a semi-final or final event on the same day. He might have 2-3 hours between the bouts. We can say that he or she will need a relatively low rate of high force development but on the contrary, a soccer player will need to have the ability to generate a high force every 20sec for 4-5sec for a total period of 1.5-2 min and recovery for 1-2 min and then repeat the sequence for 45min. With this scenario, the player will need a very high rate of high force development.
Body Composition & Brain Function
Over the years I have seen many recreational and some professional athletes not giving enough attention to their body composition; particularly to the total body fat percentage they carry. It is not rocket science to understand that carrying even a five-pound ruck sack on your frame will impair performance. The irony though is that a lot of the recreational athletes sign up to events or join sport clubs thinking that participating and getting started with some sort of training for an upcoming event will ultimately help them lose the extra pounds. This is nothing but further from the truth. This theory is even more absurd when recreational enthusiasts sign up for long distance events (marathons, half marathons, triathlons, etc.) as science and clinical experience clearly show that long distance endurance training (and events) raise a hormone called cortisol (aka stress hormone) which directly relates to belly fat distribution. The last thing we need in this stressful living environment is more stress.
To understand more about what our strategy for fat loss is, go to our fat loss page here.
Let me give you another good reason why you should take the body fat reduction very seriously. When above the norms (male 10% and female 12%-14%) your body is most likely to be under a lot of inflammation and inflammation causes injuries and brain fog. As an athlete, you will need to be able to recover from high intensity training and running your body on an inflammatory state is a recipe for disaster. Almost all sports (almost all team sports and all contact sports) will require sharp brain function. The ability to take the right decision within a split second is the main factor for winning or losing almost every time. Since the brain function, fat loss and inflammation are closely related, it is very important that the diet plan needs to be geared towards supplying all nutrients needed to enhance his or her physiology. We use a method called Biosignature developed and popularised by the renowned strength and conditioning coach Charles Poliquin.
To read more about biosignature go to this page.
Approximately two decades ago the concept of structural balance training was introduced to the field of strength and conditioning. The premise is that for optimal athletic performance and a pain-free quality of life, you must address specific ratios of strength imbalances.
We use various strength tests to determine strength ratios in upper and lower extremities and muscle fibre make up. To assess overactive and underactive muscles we use tests like overhead squats and modified Thomas length tension tests.
All athletes should be starting their periodisation by addressing any structural imbalances they might have. This will increase their potential for total strength gains and reduce the risk of injures during the season or events.
The Problem is a Great Opportunity
The problem is that many recreational and professional athletes follow their icons for the respective sport who are already following the steps of their coaches who are following the steps of their coaches who are following the steps of their coaches… And so on! You can clearly see where I am taking you with my modest analogy but nevertheless this stereotypical behaviour in all sports could be a great opportunity for most recreational and professional athletes. This is true because some sports in the UK (and other countries in Europe) are so behind on the science of strength training and functional medicine, that as soon as athletes adopt basic strength training principles the results are undeniably remarkable and noticed by the observer, competitors, managers, etc.
We have various packages for yearly support or off season training depending on the individual circumstances. Remote coaching is also available but initial one to one assessment is required.
*Please be aware to get the full benefit from the TP Remote Coaching programme you will need to adhere to all nutritional guideline which may include budgeting extra between £170 to £300 for supplementation You can find a selection of all the supplements that we use here